TCD Tidbit #13 ~ The 3M Sequels

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TCD Tidbit #13 ~ The 3M Sequels

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:06 pm

THE SEQUELS


Twenty Years After

Twenty Years After (mentioned on pages 104 & 318 of TCD) is the first sequel to The Three Musketeers and a book of the so-called D'Artagnan Romances was serialized from January to August, 1845. The novel follows events in France during La Fronde (a civil war in France occurring in the midst of the Franco-Spanish War, which had begun in 1635), during the childhood reign of Louis XIV, and in England near the end of the English Civil War, leading up to the victory of Oliver Cromwell and the execution of King Charles I. Dumas comes out on the side of the monarchy in general, or at least he supports the idea of a well-meaning, liberal monarchy. His musketeers are valiant and right in their efforts to protect young Louis XIV and the doomed Charles I from their attackers. Readers learn as much about Dumas and mid-19th century politics from reading this work as they do about the mid-17th century. This book is the least well-known of the Musketeer saga but works effectively as a sequel, with reappearances by most main characters (or children of main characters) and an interesting set of subplots.


Synopsis

D'Artagnan and Mazarin

The action begins under Queen Anne of Austria regency and Cardinal Mazarin ruling. D'Artagnan, who seemed to have a promising career ahead of him at the end of The Three Musketeers, has for twenty years remained a lieutenant in the Musketeers, and seems unlikely to progress, despite his ambition and the debt the queen owes him. By chance, however, he is summoned by Mazarin, who requires an escort, as the French people detest Mazarin, and are on the brink of rebellion (La Fronde). D'Artagnan is sent to the Bastille to retrieve a prisoner, who turns out to be his old friend and former adversary, the Comte de Rochefort.

Rochefort is brought to his audience with Mazarin, after renewing his acquaintance with d'Artagnan and making a promise to aid his advancement, where he learns that the cause for his imprisonment was his refusal to serve Mazarin at an earlier stage. He does, however, remember his promise; and though he offers his own service to Mazarin, he refuses to watch over the Duc de Beaufort, who is imprisoned at the time, and soon learns that, in consequence, he is to be returned to the Bastille. However, this does not deter him from speaking highly of the achievements of d'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers.

Having determined that d'Artagnan was the man he sought, Mazarin enters the chambers of the Queen to let her know that he has enlisted the man who had served her so well twenty years earlier. The Queen, feeling guilty for having forgotten d'Artagnan's service, gives Mazarin a diamond ring which she had previously given d'Artagnan to be returned to him, which d'Artagnan had sold in her service. The avaricious Mazarin, however, merely uses the diamond to show d'Artagnan that he is once again to enter the Queen's service. He commissions d'Artagnan to go in search of his friends.


Reunion of the Four Musketeers

D'Artagnan is at a loss; he has completely lost touch with his friends, who have resumed their real names. Athos, the Comte de la Fère, had returned to his estate near Blois; Porthos, Monsieur du Vallon, had married the lawyer's wife; and Aramis, the Abbé d'Herblay, had returned to the church. Fortune intervenes, however, when Planchet, his old servant, enters d'Artagnan's chambers, attempting to escape arrest for aiding the escape of Rochefort. Through Planchet, he locates Bazin, Aramis' old servant, now beadle at Notre Dame. Though Bazin is unwilling to help, d'Artagnan is able to find out, through an altar boy, that Bazin makes frequent visits to Noisy. D'Artagnan and Planchet go there, where they are set upon by a group who think them Frondeurs while outside the house of Madame de Longueville. When this group is satisfied that d'Artagnan is not the man they seek, Aramis surprises Planchet by dropping onto his horse from the tree in which he had been hiding.

Though d'Artagnan finds, through the decoration of Aramis' chambre, that the former musketeer who had thought of little other than being a priest is now a priest who thinks of little other than being a soldier, Aramis is not willing to enter into Mazarin's service. When the time for departure comes, d'Artagnan waits in hiding, suspecting that Aramis is the Frondeur who had been sought earlier, and is the lover of Madame de Longueville; a suspicion which is confirmed.

The visit to Aramis was not fruitless, as it yielded the address of Porthos. When d'Artagnan arrives at Porthos' estate he finds Mousqueton, who is overjoyed to meet d'Artagnan and Planchet. He finds that Porthos, despite his wealth and life spent in pursuit of amusement, is not happy. Porthos desires to become a baron, and with this bait d'Artagnan lures him into Mazarin's service.

D'Artagnan then continues on his search, seeking Athos, who he finds almost completely changed, to be an example to his ward, Raoul. Though Athos will not be enlisted into Mazarin's service, the two arrange to meet again in Paris; Athos wishes to bring Raoul there to help him to become a gentleman, and also to separate him from Louise de Vallière, who Raoul is in love and obsessed with. In Paris, Athos visits Madame de Chevreuse, Raoul’s mother and former mistress of Aramis. Through her Athos gets a letter of recommendation for Raoul to join the army.


The Duc de Beaufort

The scene then changes, to focus on the Duc de Beaufort, Mazarin's prisoner at Vincennes, who finds a new jailer, Athos' servant, the silent Grimaud. Grimaud instantly makes himself disagreeable to the Duc, as part of an escape plot. Using messages passed to Rochefort using tennis balls, they arrange to have a meal on Whitsuntide, to which La Ramée, second in command of the prison, is invited. The escape is successful, but d'Artagnan and Porthos are in pursuit.

After a race against time, and having defeated several adversaries along the way, Porthos and d'Artagnan find themselves in the dark, surrounded, with swords crossed against adversaries equal to them, who are revealed to be Athos and Aramis. The four arrange to meet in Paris at the Place Royale, both parties, now finding themselves enemies, enter fearing a duel, but they reconcile and renew their vows of friendship.


Enter Mordaunt

As this is going on, Raoul is travelling to join the army. Along the road he sees a gentleman of around the same age, and tries to make haste to join him. The other gentleman reaches the ferry before him, but is fallen into the river. Raoul, who is used to fording rivers, saves the gentleman, the Comte de Guiche, and the two become friends. Further along the road, the debt is repaid when the Comte saves Raoul when they are attacked by Spanish soldiers. After the fight, they find a man who is close to death, who requests the last rites. They help him to a nearby inn, and find a travelling monk. This monk is unpleasant to them, and does not seem inclined to perform this service, so they force him to go to the inn. Once there, the monk hears the confession. The dying man reveals that he was the executioner of Béthune, and confesses his part in the execution of Milady. The monk reveals himself as her son, John Francis de Winter, who calls himself Mordaunt after Charles I stripped him off all his titles. Mordaunt stabs the executioner.

Grimaud, who is to join Raoul, comes upon the inn just as this is taking place, though too late to prevent it, or to detain the monk. After hearing what happened from the dying man, making his excuses to Raoul, he departs to warn Athos about the son of Milady. After his departure, Raoul and Guiche are forced to retreat when the Spanish come upon the town. After joining the army of the Prince de Condé Raoul provides assistance in interrogating the prisoner brought by Guiche and him, when the prisoner feigns to misunderstand them in several languages. Once they have learned the location of the Spanish army, they set out for battle, Raoul accompanying the Prince.

Meanwhile, d´Artagnan and Porthos help Queen Anne of Austria, the young Louis XIV and Mazarin escape Paris after its citizens finally start a rebellion. D´Artagnan meets the young king and watches over him as some frondeurs, who wanted to make sure that the king and queen were not about to escape, enter the king's bedroom demanding to see him. After that, Mazarin sends d'Artagnan and Porthos to England with a message for Cromwell and orders them to stay there for some time under Cromwell's command. At the same time, Queen Henrietta of England asks Athos and Aramis to aid her husband, Charles I, who is fighting in the English Civil War. Aramis and Athos sail to England as well.


In England

Milady's son, Mordaunt, reprises his role as one of the chief antagonists. As twisted and as deceitful as his mother, he sets about avenging her death. He seeks not only Lord de Winter, but the other four unknown conspirators who took part in his mother's clandestine "trial" and execution. In addition to murdering the executioner while posing as a monk taking his confession, he also murders his uncle, Lord de Winter, who was Milady's brother-in-law, during the same battle in which king Charles I is captured. Athos and Aramis are captured by d'Artagnan and Porthos, who are fighting alongside Mordaunt and Cromwell's troops. As soon as they can have a conversation, Athos talks d'Artagnan and Porthos into helping save Charles I. D'Artagnan and Porthos free their friends and start making plans in order to try and save the king.

In the end, all their plans fail, and Mordaunt executes King Charles I after d'Artagnan and the three former Musketeers have kidnapped the real executioner in order to prevent this.

D'Artagnan and his friends later confront Mordaunt at Cromwell's London residence, but in the course of a duel with d'Artagnan he escapes through a secret passage.

The Frenchmen and their menservants leave England by ship, but Mordaunt gets aboard and blows it up. As the survivors leave in a rowing boat, Mordaunt pleads for them to let him aboard. With the exception of Athos, they contemptuously reject his appeals. Athos insists on saving him however, but as he helps him into the boat, Mordaunt deliberately drags him back into the water where they struggle and Mordaunt is killed.

Athos rejoins the others claiming that "I had a son... I wanted to live". They assume of course that he means Raoul de Bragelonne, his adopted son (though in fact the product of a one-night stand). Athos further states that "It was not me who killed him... It was fate." (Could it be that he suspects Mordaunt to be his son by Milady? Dumas does not openly state this, though he does drop subtle hints in the text, like Athos expressing satisfaction in Mordaunt's original escape from Cromwell's house.)


Finale

Once back in France, the four friends go separate ways. D'Artagnan and Porthos head to Paris through a different route than the other two, knowing that Mazarin will not forgive their disobedience. Aramis and Athos reach Paris only to find out that their friends haven't. After looking for them, they find out about their imprisonment by Mazarin in Rueil. Athos tries to persuade Queen Anne to free his friends, but gets imprisoned as well. After this, d'Artagnan manages to escape with Porthos and capture Mazarin instead. Mazarin is taken to one of Porthos's castles and he gives some concessions to the four friends in exchange for his freedom, among them, making Porthos a baron and making d'Artagnan captain of musketeers. These concessions are later accepted by Queen Anne, who finally realizes she has been rather ungrateful with d'Artagnan and his friends.

At the end of the novel, the first Fronde comes to an end, and Mazarin, Queen Anne and Louis XIV enter Paris. A riot takes place during which d'Artagnan accidentally kills Rochefort and Porthos kills Bonacieux (who in the earlier novel was d'Artagnan's landlord and an agent of Richelieu, and is now a beggar and Frondist). At the end the four friends go separate ways again. D'Artagnan stays in Paris with Mazarin and Queen Anne, Athos returns to la Fère, Aramis returns to his convent in Noisy le Sec and Porthos to his castle.



The Vicomte de Bragelonne

On page 2 the scene of Enrique Taillefer’s suicide:


There was a broken vase on the floor and a book open at a page covered with red pencil marks. The book was an old copy of The Vicomte de Bragelonne, a cheap edition bound in cloth. Leaning over the policeman’s shoulder, the magistrate glanced at the underlined sentences:

“They have betrayed me,” he murmured. “All is known!” “All is known at last,” answered Porthos, who knew nothing.


The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later is the third and last of the d'Artagnan Romances following The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After. It appeared first in serial form between 1847 and 1850. In the English translations the 268 chapters of this large volume are usually subdivided into three, but sometimes four or even five individual books. In three-volume English editions, the three volumes are titled "The Vicomte de Bragelonne", "Louise de la Vallière", and "The Man in the Iron Mask." Each of these volumes is roughly the length of the original The Three Musketeers. In four-volume editions, the names of the volumes are kept, except that "Louise de la Vallière" and "The Man in the Iron Mask" are pushed down from second and third to third and fourth, with "Ten Years Later" becoming the second volume. There are usually no volume-specific names in five-volume editions.


Plot

Though there are many digressions, the heroes of the novel remain d'Artagnan and the rest of the original musketeers who find adventure, perform fantastic feats, grow older, and - with one exception - come to the ends of their lives.

The action takes place between 1660 and 1667 and has as its thematic background the transformation of Louis XIV from a weak boy king dominated by his ministers and mother to the Sun King in absolute control of the French state. Near the beginning of the first part of the novel "The Vicomte de Bragelonne", d'Artagnan, who is no longer captain of musketeers because of Cardinal Jules Mazarin, resigns from the King's service in disgust over the young King's weakness. Louis would like to help Charles II retake the throne of England but allows his prime minister Cardinal Jules Mazarin to talk him out of giving such aid. The novel then shifts its focus to events in England as d'Artagnan--who is trying to make his fortune--and Athos--who is fulfilling the duty that he believes men owe to monarchs--restore Charles II to the English throne. Near the end of the novel, Charles II is restored thanks to Athos and d´Artagnan, Cardinal Mazarin dies and d'Artagnan resumes his role in the service of Louis XIV as captain of musketeers again.

The first part of the novel also introduces the titular hero, young Raoul de Bragelonne. Raoul is the son of Athos, one of the original musketeers, now known as the Comte de la Fère. De Bragelonne is based on the real Raoul de Bragelonne who was in love with Louise de la Vallière. As in the novel, the real-life Louise preferred Louis XIV. Raoul plays a relatively small role in the novel. He spends a small part of his time fighting and much more of his time infatuated with Louise, absent in England, or depressed over being "betrayed" by Louise. Ultimately, he fails to recover from Louise's betrayal and ends his own life with rash behaviour in battle.

"Louise de la Vallière", the middle section of the novel, is devoted in large part to romantic events at the court of Louis XIV. To a lesser degree, this portion of the novel shows the efforts of Louis to dominate the nobility by depicting the King's steps to impoverish the powerful superintendent of finance, Nicolas Fouquet. The man who encourages the King in bringing down Fouquet, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, is portrayed as an envious, unscrupulous social climber, clearly showing the author's antipathy towards the character. Towards the end of the novel, however, when Colbert has replaced Fouquet as minister of finance, Dumas, for the sake of historical accuracy, perhaps, mentions (in a dialogue) Colbert's future achievements (building granaries, edifices, cities, and ports; creating a marine, equipping navies; constructing libraries and academies; making France the wealthiest country of the period).

The last section of the novel is famous, in part, for building its plot around Dumas' hypothesis that the Man in the Iron Mask was Louis XIV's identical twin brother. Aramis plots to seize power and save Fouquet from being unfairly destroyed by Louis by replacing Louis with his twin. Aramis entangles the trusting Porthos in his scheme. Aramis and Porthos are forced to flee when Fouquet rescues Louis. Despite Fouquet's rescue, Louis ultimately orders d'Artagnan to arrest Fouquet and to arrest and execute Porthos and Aramis. D'Artagnan considers Fouquet an honourable and honest man and considers it dishonourable to be ordered to arrest his friends. Frustrated and dishonoured, d'Artagnan again resigns from the King's service; but after Louis explains that it is he, the King, who holds power and must run the country, d'Artagnan stays.

Porthos dies at Locmaria when a sudden loss of strength in his legs prevents his escape from the cave he has just brought down with a barrel of gunpowder. He and Aramis have stymied the pursuing King's forces, killing over a hundred men, and very nearly escaped. Aramis finds his way to Spain. Athos dies of grief over his separation from Raoul and Raoul's death. Aramis ultimately turns up as the Spanish ambassador to France and works to ensure the neutrality of Spain in France's campaign against the United Provinces in 1667 (about 5 years after the deaths of Porthos and Athos). D'Artagnan, almost 60 by then, is killed moments after reading the letter making him Marshal of France, unlike the real life d'Artagnan, who died on March 23, 1673, at the Siege of Maastricht.
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:27 pm

Very interesting, hadn't realised The Man in The Iron Mask was part of a trilogy of stories :cool:

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Unread postby Parlez » Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:10 pm

Okay, about the first part of The Vicomte de Bragelonne ~ Liz, you've summed up in a few paragraphs what it's taken me 400+ pages and the bulk of the summer to read. And I'm only half-way through! That's what I call succinct on your part and verbose on Dumas'! Still, I have to admit, the story continues to engage me. The writing style is very interesting and there's just enough wit and humor sprinkled throughout to keep it from turning into a hopeless, rather ridiculous, muddle.

Thanks for this concise report! :cool:
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:30 am

Parlez, I had a little help from Wiki. ;-)

I hope I didn't spoil the book for you by giving away too much.
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Unread postby gemini » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:37 pm

Well I took a shortcut in my Dumas reading and saw the film, "The man in the Iron Mask". Leonardo DiCapro plays the twins, evil Charles and good Louie. The film takes it upon itself to change the story in a few places. D'Artagnan and Milady are the twins parents and he has stood by her all these years. The muskateers survive and put Louie on the thrown but D'Artagnan is killed by his son Charles. Athos upset over his son Raouls death befriends Louie like a son. Actually I think Leonardo does a good job of playing both parts in this film and he is certainly a looker in it but it is far from the Dumas story.
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Unread postby Parlez » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:45 pm

No worries about spoiling the story for me, Liz. With Dumas I've decided it's not the destination but the journey that counts. Ergo, by the time I finally reach the end of the book I doubt I'll remember the Wiki summation at all! :-)

Gemini - thanks for the report on DiCaprio's Man in the Iron Mask. That's one of Leonardo's films I've missed. I'll bump it up to the top of my rental list. :cool:
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:50 pm

gemini wrote:Well I took a shortcut in my Dumas reading and saw the film, "The man in the Iron Mask". Leonardo DiCapro plays the twins, evil Charles and good Louie. The film takes it upon itself to change the story in a few places. D'Artagnan and Milady are the twins parents and he has stood by her all these years. The muskateers survive and put Louie on the thrown but D'Artagnan is killed by his son Charles. Athos upset over his son Raouls death befriends Louie like a son. Actually I think Leonardo does a good job of playing both parts in this film and he is certainly a looker in it but it is far from the Dumas story.


Milady?? I don't think so, its the Queen Ann.
I think its quite a good film lots of good actors in it playing the muskateers, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich and the French actor whose name escapes me just now.

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Unread postby fansmom » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:17 pm

Gilbert's Girl wrote: and the French actor whose name escapes me just now.
Gérard Depardieu

I tried to watch "Iron Mask" on TV a few months ago, and they'd cut it so badly that I couldn't even follow the plot. :-? I went to IMDB afterwards and read some of the quotes and thought, "Oh, that's what they weren't saying!" :banghead:

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:57 pm

I haven’t seen it, but I remember that Jeremy Irons was in it. I didn’t realize that Leo was in it. That is quite a cast! Maybe that will be the movie played at Casa Liz next weekend.
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:09 am

This book was being discussed with the authour on my local radio station this afternoon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Iron-Mask-Roger-MacDonald/dp/1845293002/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216731935&sr=1-5

He was looking into the stories behind the myth and finding that most of them were based on facts. It might be an interesting read if you can get hold of it.

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Unread postby Liz » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:22 pm

Gilbert's Girl wrote:This book was being discussed with the authour on my local radio station this afternoon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Iron-Mask-Roger-MacDonald/dp/1845293002/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216731935&sr=1-5

He was looking into the stories behind the myth and finding that most of them were based on facts. It might be an interesting read if you can get hold of it.


That's timely. :-O
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Unread postby fansmom » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:56 pm

Wow, GG, that book fares much better on the Amazon UK site than it does on the US Amazon site.
http://www.amazon.com/Man-Iron-Mask-Roger-Macdonald/dp/B000Y4WHTO/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216749114&sr=8-1

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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:41 pm

Liz wrote:
Gilbert's Girl wrote:This book was being discussed with the authour on my local radio station this afternoon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Iron-Mask-Roger-MacDonald/dp/1845293002/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216731935&sr=1-5

He was looking into the stories behind the myth and finding that most of them were based on facts. It might be an interesting read if you can get hold of it.


That's timely. :-O

Yes, my ears pricked up when I heard it

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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:44 pm

fansmom wrote:Wow, GG, that book fares much better on the Amazon UK site than it does on the US Amazon site.
http://www.amazon.com/Man-Iron-Mask-Roger-Macdonald/dp/B000Y4WHTO/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216749114&sr=8-1


Interesting he was saying although people seem to have researched the information before they didn't do it very well, or not as thouroughly,well I guess he would say that ,but he had access to documents that hadn't been looked at for over a hundred years. It was actually quite interesting but I can't remember everything he said.


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